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Del Toro takes state

Track and field: GCC sophomore pulls big upset to lead banner day for Vaqs.

May 24, 2010|By Grant Gordon

LANCASTER — Battling through pain, torrid winds and stiff and physical competition, Rosa Del Toro emerged Saturday afternoon as a state champion.

Running a brilliant and strong race from start to finish, the Glendale Community College sophomore claimed victory in the women’s 1,500-meters race at the California Community College Athletic Assn. Track and Field State Championships at Antelope Valley College.

“It’s so exciting, it’s indescribable,” said Del Toro, who won the race in 4 minutes 43.88 seconds, pulling away down the final stretch in front of second-place Sara Toberty of Orange Coast, who finished in 4:45.42. “Last year, I couldn’t even make it out of [the Southern California Championships].”

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While Del Toro assuredly grabbed the biggest highlight for the Vaqueros, it was an all-around successful day for Glendale.

“This is the best we’ve ever done at Glendale,” said Vaqueros Coach Eddie Lopez of his women’s team, which finished fifth in women’s team competition with 58 points, just three points behind second-place Sacramento (61 points), while Laney won the state crown with 82 points. “We did better than we did at SoCal, that tells you that we came to compete, so I’m happy.”

Seven Glendale runners combined for eight All-American individual honors over the two-day championships, which began on Friday. All-American recognition is earned with a top-six finish.

Del Toro, freshman Karen Rosas and sophomore Samantha Bogatz earned two All-American nods apiece. After winning the 1,500, Del Toro returned to take third in the 5,000 in 18:28.24. Rosas, who had finished second in the 10,000 on Friday, took second in the 5,000 in 18:14.22. Bogatz finished fifth in the 100 (11.88) and fifth in the 200 (24.72).

Angie Gonzalez began the day and the All-American parade for GCC with a sixth-place mark of 12:19.78 in the 3,000 steeplechase. Jonathan Alpizar then defied all odds in the men’s steeplechase, taking fifth in 9:48.93 after he was knocked out in a freak accident just seconds before the race was scheduled to start.

Also in the 5,000, Moore grabbed fifth in 18:50.79. On Friday, Vivian Ochoa had finished fourth in the 10,000.

“We ran well,” Lopez said.

And nobody ran as well as Del Toro in the 1,500.

Though she was the fourth-seeded runner, Lopez said he knew Del Toro had a first-place performance in her.

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